Research economists fear that automated, self-driving vehicles will have a negative impact on those that are deeply tied to traditional transportation business models and practices.
There are 1.7 million professional truck drivers in the United States and an additional 1.7 million operators of other commercial land vehicles. Policymakers must prepare for the possible elimination of many of these jobs.
The Center For The Future of Work intends to address the challenge by bringing economic expertise together with some of the world’s leaders in autonomous vehicle technology to forecast where and when these individuals might be displaced from their current jobs. With necessary data, they can begin to design policies that could better improve the dislocation of these workers, and have these policies in place before the disruptions emerge. A Heinz College student team is currently collaborating with the New America Foundation to create the first draft of a map in space and time that forecasts the potentially significant job losses associated with the commercial deployment of these technologies.